My feed

to access all these features

Pedants' corner

You have two choices

10 replies

huntinghighandlow · 09/09/2019 23:35

I hear this so many times on tv, usually said menacingly. Surely it's a choice? If you have two choices that's a lot of deciding to do?

OP posts:
DramaAlpaca · 09/09/2019 23:38

I agree. If it's between two things, it's a choice.

PurpleWithRed · 09/09/2019 23:39

God yes, drives me nuts. A choice between two options is fine, but two choices to me means you have to make a choice and then make a second choice like one of those damn telephone systems.

And don’t get me started on ‘we are sat’.

MyCatsHat · 09/09/2019 23:39

I'm a pedant but meh, this doesn't really bother me. Sometimes it's relevant to say how many options there are and "choices" has become another way of saying options.

As in, there is the verb "to pick" and you can also say "here are my top picks" (bleugh but you can!) :o

DadDadDad · 10/09/2019 10:14

I'm with you, MyCatsHat. Much as we might want to box words into precise definitions that either refer to the act of choosing or the outcome of that act, we use choice for both: "you have a difficult choice" v "this wasn't my first choice".

If I say "these curtains I bought were a poor choice" does that mean my selection process was defective or that the curtains look rubbish?

Bluerussian · 02/01/2020 02:45

My mother used to say, "You have two choices!", typical of her :-). You're right, it should be 'a choice'.

OhWaffle · 07/01/2020 13:25

Yes, this annoys me!

CatWithKittens · 09/01/2020 11:02

I must say that I find "three alternatives" much more annoying - a fortiori four, five or six alternatives - when what is meant is a choice between three options rather than the opportunities to choose between three different pairs.

Ferretyone · 12/01/2020 19:46


Wouldn't "picks" in that context be a gerund? [Remember them?]

LazyDaisey · 20/01/2020 12:42

People have decided options and choices are the same thing. So instead of you have two options, they’ve started to use choices as a synonym. It’s not. Two choices means more than two options.

OnTheEdgeOfTheNight · 20/01/2020 12:47


(has anyone else noticed this?)

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.